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Andre Fernandes
24 posts since 29 Mar, 2012, from Portugal

Postby Andre Fernandes; Mon May 08, 2017 11:33 am RetroSynth Soundtrack | opinions needed

Hey guys, I am a film composer and I am working on a new Soundtrack for which the director wants it to be Synthwave/ Retro based but also wants it merged with more modern and aggressive (sometimes even Dubstep-ish) licks and parts.

As, conceptually, this may be a tricky fusion (maybe a bit antagonic, too) I am sharing this track in order to get some feedback. Fell free to share your thoughts regarding the concept, composition, mix, etc.

Thanks. :tu:
https://soundcloud.com/andr-fernandes/p ... mans-theme
158 posts since 22 Oct, 2016

Postby Kyrpto; Wed May 10, 2017 12:26 pm Re: RetroSynth Soundtrack | opinions needed

Cool use of panning. Sounds a bit muddy but that could just be me.
1491 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Wed May 10, 2017 1:05 pm Re: RetroSynth Soundtrack | opinions needed

Listening to the track I personally didn't feel a retro vibe. It sounds very modern to my ears with all the glitchy stuff going on in terms of the arrangement of the track and the way the elements are presented. Some of the sounds themselves sound more or less retro (e.g. what I think are electric toms).

To me, I'd expect a more constant or "structured" (for want of a better word) approach to the build-up and rhythm. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "synthwave", but listening to a couple of You Tube videos of "synthwave", it sounds like just what I'd expect it to. The arrangements are more consistent, and have a more driving, constant rhythym to them (think 16-step sequencers or the equivalent thereof). While the odd glitchy drop became popular somewhere around the mid-90s with the advent of affordable sampling, these tended to be used very sporadically for dramatic effect.

Your song starts up with a very modern epic build up, and then drops into a off-kilter glitch-fest. It sounds cool, but it's most definitely not "retro". If anything, the retro-ish parts here sound more early industrial than anything else.

The break around 1:30 has that first nuance of retro-gamey/synth feel because of the sounds you chose, and the chippy-sounds of the melody that follows sounds a lot more retro gaming. There's still a modern undercurrent but they work together. The modern undercurrent soons gains the upper hand at the end again though.

I think if you want to incorporate the two I can think of two obvious appraoches: have separate themes in the different styles and blend them together for the transition like after the break around 2:32. Or focus more on blending the styles throughout, maybe only breaking out into one or the other exclusively for dramatic effect.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the track per se. I think as a modern piece with obvious nods to the past it's good fun. So if the end effect is what you (and the director) were looking for, I say go with it. But if you want a retro feel, I think you need to look at the arrangement a bit.
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